Skip to main content

How do I apply for student loans?

All federal loans made by the U.S. Department of Education require you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) . You can apply for private student loans directly with a lender.

Schools that receive information from your FAFSA will be able to tell you if you qualify for federal student loans. Almost every American family qualifies for federal student loans. Direct Loans are usually included as part of the financial aid package that a school offers to you.

For private student loans, you can shop around at different lenders, including banks, credit unions, or other student loan providers. A good practice is to get quotes from at least three different providers. You might first consult your local credit union or bank if you or your family hold an account there. Your college financial aid office may also provide you with a list of possible lenders.

Learn more about your options for paying for school.